Through a series of online film screenings, the Green Screen project invites you to engage with contemporary debates on the future of Europe, post-COVID recovery and making our societies more resilient and sustainable. Created by the European Greens, it will explore topics such as the climate crisis, environmental and social justice, and democracy.
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Fighting inequality through COVID 19 Recovery.
Neoliberal recipes that rely on cutting public spending and on the functioning of markets to deliver sufficient healthcare have failed and rendered our societies even more vulnerable to health crises. We need another way.
Austerity policies that have been implemented in the last decade in the EU have led to the defunding of public services and infrastructures on which we depend. Without these sectors and services made more resilient and sustainable, we won’t be able to adequately tackle health and other future crises.
How can we start rebuilding our healthcare systems, in ways that are respectful to its workers and to the planetary boundaries? What new principles can we apply to ensure that health is seen as a common good for all EU citizens?
As the Greens, we think that healthcare and other public services must be viewed as commons that we need to protect and fund adequately. EU Member States need to guarantee universal healthcare coverage and accessibility to healthcare facilities to everyone. We are calling for the EU to make vaccines and treatments available and affordable for all. Now is the time to change the current model to one based on open science, where pharmaceutical products are not made more costly by patent licensing and non-transparent research and development costs.
Film: 21st July at 00:00 CEST – 22nd July at 23:59 CEST
Synopsis: Over a two-year period, filmmaker Jérôme le Maire captures everyday life in the surgical department of a Parisian hospital. He paints a disconcerting picture of the imminent burnout threatening the healthcare system in 2016. A combination of heavy workloads, intense stress, low staffing levels and budget cuts has deeply undermined the atmosphere. We see doctors and nursing staff working through exhaustion. “We cram, we cram, we cram,” sighs one overworked doctor after glancing at the schedule. Meanwhile, management is pushing for even more efficiency and cost cutting.
The COVID crisis has tipped the healthcare infrastructures and staff across Europe over the edge. Healthcare workers in countries such as Belgium and France were already protesting the lack of funding before the pandemic and warning their governments of its impact. Today, we see the devastation caused by overwhelmed hospitals and overworked staff.
Director: Jérôme Le Maire
Access: due to distribution rights, this screening is only accessible in the European Union
Debate: 22nd July at 19:00 CEST
Following the screening of ‘Burning Out’, we are hosting a debate on Thursday 22 July at 19:00 CEST. We will explore the state of health care systems across Europe, and how they can be rebuilt to ensure a more resilient and sustainable Europe. We will take into consideration various perspectives, including that of local and European level politicians and healthcare workers. The session will tackle essential topics such as the need for investments in the healthcare systems, the respect of health workers’ rights and vision of healthcare as a fundamental right.
- Adam Rogalewski, Policy Officer
Health and Social Services
- Alex Mayer Fuentes, Doctor,
Internal Medicine, Hospital Taulí
- Tilly Metz, Member of the
- Mar Garcia, Secretary General,
European Green Party
- Moderator: Dr Sam Murray, Music Lecturer and EGP Amendments Committee Member
Each month, the Green Screen is dedicated to a key theme to build a better future for Europe. On the third week of each month, a film screening will be made available for free on our platform for 48 hours, on Wednesday and Thursday. Then, you can follow a live debate on an issue inspired by the film, which will take place on Thursdays at 19:00 CEST. You can follow it here or on our Youtube channel. You will find all the debates that already took place in this section in case you missed some!
It is more necessary than ever to guarantee that inequality between different parts of Europe does not grow further with the crisis. Every employee has the right to enjoy fair working conditions, regardless of the type and duration of their contract. Through the pandemic, we have seen people reconceptualising the idea of work and its relationship with life, as well as interesting experiments with the 4-day work week and emergency basic income as well as other forms of Universal Basic Income (UBI).
How do we ensure a just recovery and work towards a truly social Europe, that cares for all people? And how do we ensure that no one is left behind in a post-Pandemic Europe?
As the Greens, we are working on ensuring that the social impacts of this crisis are reduced to a minimum. In addition to the financial stimulus, we have been demanding that the EU and its Member States guarantee further social policies to protect their citizens, in particular younger workers, whose rights were already weakened by austerity policies and the 2008 financial crisis. We also advocate for national experiments on Universal Basic Income and call for working-time reduction schemes and a 32-hour work week to be promoted in order to redistribute work among more people.
During the pandemic, many of us stood on our balconies to clap for the hospital workers doing their best to treat coronavirus patients. But essential workers in the care and social sectors need more than our applause – they need better and more support. Even before the crisis, unions and activists in countries like France or Belgium were sounding the alarm about the impact of the lack of funding in the healthcare sector. Moving towards more crisis-resilient and sustainable societies will also mean ensuring that everyone is able to live dignified lives.
How can this recovery also lead us to more fair and just societies where everyone has equality of opportunity? How can we ensure that we value and protect the essential sectors and workers that our economies and societies depend on?
As the Greens, we believe in re-localising certain essential production sectors of our economy, to prioritise internal and regional markets and to shorten supply chains. We have been demanding an improvement of working conditions and salaries, especially for health and social care workers. We are working to ensure that specific plans are put in place for the recovery of sectors heavily affected by the crisis.
Emergency measures must always be time limited, proportionate, strictly related to the health crisis and subject to regular democratic scrutiny. Freedom of movement and residence for persons in the EU must remain a cornerstone of Union citizenship. Closing borders must remain the exception and not the rule, and it should not be done in a unilateral and uncoordinated way as it was the case at the beginning of the pandemic.
How can we ensure that citizen rights and the rule of law remain enshrined and protected? In what ways can citizens engage in further democratic processes and participate in politics during periods of crisis such as pandemics?
As the Greens, we were quick to demand that parliaments, civil society organizations and citizens are returned their full democratic powers through the recovery. We believe that governments should not use the pandemic as a pretext to weaken social and labour rights. Whistle-blowers exposing wrongdoings and abuses related to the crisis must also be protected.
The COVID-19 crisis has not only revealed the direct link between the human encroachment on wildlife habitats and the transmission of deadly viruses from animals to humans, but also that air pollution is enhancing the mortality rate of the virus. Moreover, we know that the consequences of climate change and the dramatic loss of biodiversity we are witnessing are responsible for other major crises which we are and will continue to face at the global level.
We need a recovery that boosts the transition towards a greener, fairer, and more resilient world for future generations. A recovery that seizes the opportunity of once-in-a-generation public investments for the green and energy transition. A recovery where Europe is a leader in the fight against climate change. Now that the EU has a Recovery Plan, how can we ensure that its funds are going where they are needed the most? And what kind of collective future(s) can we now envision, together?
As the Greens, we believe that we need a recovery through an ambitious Green Deal, quality green jobs, and investments with green conditionalities. We are working to ensure that the recovery package and its national plans will act as a driving force towards a real transition to a more resilient and sustainable economic model; ensuring that we transition to renewable energies, phase out of coal by 2030, and achieve climate-neutrality as early as 2040.
The G7 recently committed to one billion vaccine doses to lower income countries. But it’s less than 10% of the doses needed to reign in COVID-19 worldwide. To achieve this, we’ll need 11 billion doses to vaccinate 70% of the world’s population by next year, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). Today, the wealthiest countries have bought enough doses to vaccinate their populations nearly 3 times over, whilst low-income countries are still struggling to vaccinate 10% of their population.
To beat the COVID-19 pandemic, we will need to engage in radical acts of solidarity; both within and outside of the European Union. How could the EU show leadership in global solidarity with its recovery funds, humanitarian aid, medical support and debt relief? What is the role of citizens at the international level?
As the Greens we believe that to overcome this global emergency, and build a better future, we must work with local, national, European and global partners, and focus on involving citizens through truly participatory processes. We will continue to fight for a strong European democracy as well as to ensure that the response to this crisis is not an attempt to simply go back to business as usual, but rather a push to embrace the radical change which is now more necessary than ever. The EU must show leadership in global solidarity with its recovery funds, humanitarian aid, medical support and debt relief. It must also profoundly reform its own trade policy and review its trade agreements with other countries, with the aim of building a more resilient and sustainable trade system.
Women, whose competences are undervalued and therefore underpaid, are most often the workers in essential professions. Even as women deal with unequal wages for equal work, they are also most affected by the greater family and care burden, leading to even more unpaid and unrecognised work. An increase of domestic violence reports has also been reported during lockdowns.
The Recovery Plan that’s supposed to tackle the impact of COVID-19 is pouring money into male-dominated sectors. What now? How can we ensure that the gender dimension of this crisis is addressed?
As the Greens, we have been calling for EU and all the Member States ratify and effectively implement the Istanbul Convention. We also believe that the European Commission cannot delay the adoption of the Directive on gender pay gap and upgrading its provisions on parental leave. We have also been working to ensure equal pay for equally valuable work, address growing gender-based violence during the pandemic, and ensure access to reproductive health care and abortion.
The agreement to raise 750 billion euros together as part of the NextGenerationEU Recovery Plan was a triumph of unity in the EU. It will enable the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to be mitigated and allow for necessary investments in the common cause of making our societies and economies resilient for current and future generations. Its primary mechanism, the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), has been considered an unprecedented sign of solidarity among EU member states. It will make €672.5 billion in loans and grants available to support reforms and investments undertaken by member states to mitigate the socio-economic impact of COVID-19.
What does recovery mean as we enter our second summer of the pandemic? And how can we ensure that it also tackles the other great challenge of our time: the climate crisis?
As the Greens, we believe that we need to ensure solidarity at the heart and at every level of the recovery. We are working to ensure that the burden to save European lives, jobs and economic systems must be shared, and that the most affected countries are adequately supported.
Artistic expressions often seek to enact change. Berthold Brecht once said that “Art is not a mirror held up to reality, but a hammer with which to shape it.” The Green Screen features European artists whose work engages with the theme of defining a better future for all. They will be showcasing a variety of art forms, including poetry, music, painting and theatre.